Joining the retail movement to add bricks to clicks, eSalon plans to open its first physical store in Los Angeles during 2017. To facilitate that, eSalon has hired Amanda Hamilton, formerly director of operations for Drybar, to the newly created position of vice president retail.

Hamilton will oversee eSalon’s shift from an exclusive e-tail platform to a multichannel strategy. “Since its inception, eSalon has fused cutting-edge technology with the expertise of a hands-on team of professional colorists whose sole purpose is to educate and help clients apply their own hair color. This unique approach is undoubtedly why eSalon has shaken-up the age-old hair color market,” said Hamilton, who launched and operated 40 Drybar sites in less than four years. “Creating a retail experience will allow us to engage our clients in an even more personal way, as well as reach new clients who may have previously been reluctant to try our products.”

The decision to open physical locations was made following a pilot program where more than 500 prospective clients were invited to the company’s Culver City, Calif., headquarters for in-person consultations and an application with a color expert. “This high-touch experience proved to be hugely successful in nearly every capacity, resulting in high brand engagement, unparalleled customer satisfaction, and enhanced loyalty,” said Francisco Gimenez, eSalon ceo and cofounder. “We are an experiential brand and what we offer is more than a product — it’s a service whether online or offline, so building a physical presence is a natural progression for eSalon.”

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The centerpiece of the eSalon retail concept will be eSalon’s proprietary custom-blending hair color machine, which will showcase how eSalon creates tailor-made, consistent color from application to application. “Ultimately, we aim to provide both new and existing clients with a physical resource for all things related to hair color and to give them one-on-one access to a live colorist who can help them with anything from product selection to adjusting an existing hair color formula to create the perfect match.”

At Drybar, Hamilton implemented a full supply chain, an integrated booking program and an end-to-end store opening process that enabled the company to grow without deviating from the consistency expected of the brand. She also led the development of the Dry on the Fly mobile business as well as the Drybar mobile app.

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